PSF opens liaison office in Brazzaville to facilitate Rwandan businesses

A staffer packs cassava flower at Kinazi Cassava Plant in Ruhango District. File.
The Private Sector Federation (PSF) has opened up an office in Congo-Brazzaville that will help local traders exporting goods to that country.

The liaison office seeks to facilitate Rwandan business operators to easily access international markets not only in the Republic of Congo but also in other West African countries, according to officials.

The PSF country manager will be, among other activities, in charge of coordinating and supervising the effective set up and implementation of a multi-service centre intended to facilitate Rwandan traders to tap into Western African markets.

Gerard Mukubu, who has been the Chief Advocacy Officer at PSF headquarters in Kigali, has been transferred to the Republic of Congo as the PSF’s country manager.

“We have had cases where our traders want to tap into various international markets but fail because of scanty information regarding foreign markets, that’s why we have decided to open up an office that will be doing market surveys and research on behalf of Rwandan traders in Congo-Brazzaville,” said Stephen Ruzibiza, the PSF chief executive officer.

Last year, PSF signed a partnership agreement with Group 250 and Sawa Citi supermarket to help sell Rwandan products in Congo-Brazzaville.

The establishment of a multi-service centre in Congo-Brazzaville would reinforce market linkages between Rwandan producers, exporters and foreign buyers, officials said.

This will be achieved through trade promotion, logistics and information sharing.

Group 250 is an anchor company operating in the Republic of Congo in import and export sectors and infrastructure development while Sawa Citi is a Rwandan supermarket with outlets in Kigali.

Sawa Citi Supermarket will facilitate operations by working closely with local small and medium enterprises in acquisition of products to be exported by Group250.

“It’s in line with the strategy to grow the country’s exports and reduce imports to narrow the trade deficit. It’s the first such office we have opened and we hope to hope to expand our presence to other markets as well with an aimed at facilitating trade,” Ruzibiza further explained.

Emile Nsanzabaganwa, the director general of Kinazi Cassava Plant, one of the local companies exporting to DR Congo, said the firm was now targeting Congo-Brazzaville and other West African markets.

“We are already in negotiations with some of our clients in Brazzaville to export our products there and I think this new PSF office will greatly facilitate us,” he said in an interview.

Last month, Gabonese envoy to Rwanda Amb. Michel Xavier Biang urged Rwandan businesses to invest in his country.

“We are ready to facilitate any Rwandan company that would want to invest in our country. Rwanda is a role model, that’s why we need to grow our trade partnership in order to boost investment in the two countries,” the Gabonese envoy said during his meeting with Rwandan business leaders.